Human Rights and the Will to be free
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Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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Corporate Human Rights Abuses Are Fine, United States Tells the UN

Corporate Human Rights Abuses Are Fine, United States Tells the UN | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Good news: The United Nations has recently approved the implementation of a legally binding body that can punish corporations that commit human rights abuses.

Bad news: The United States is furious and says it will refuse to abide by any repercussions this Human Rights Council-approved body should assign.

Up until now, the UN’s standards for corporate accountability have been strictly voluntarily. Resolving that waving a metaphorical finger at companies that commit human rights abuses was insufficient, in 2013, Ecuador initiated a proposal to hold international offenders responsible for their immoral actions. More than 80 other countries signed on, agreeing that actual accountability was necessary to diminish human rights abuse. With help from South Africa, Ecuador finally convinced the HRC to vote on the issue last week; the resolution passed by a 20-14 vote.

Alas, it’s the nations who voted no that are being the most vocal at this point, with the United States and nations in the European Union leading the charge. Before the vote, they lobbied hard to have nations reject Ecuador’s proposal; since losing, they have thrown what amounts to a hissy fit. ...“



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/corporate-human-rights-abuses-are-fine-united-states-tells-the-un.html#ixzz36jXyPN00

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US boycotts UN human rights conference with drone resolution looming

US boycotts UN human rights conference with drone resolution looming | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Pakistani leaders hope to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council to pass a resolution that would force US drone strikes to adhere to international law – a request that inspired the US to boycott the talks altogether, according to a new report.

The draft of a Pakistani resolution, first reported by Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy, proposes that nations “ensure transparency” when discussing drone strikes and “conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.”

While official numbers are nonexistent, experts have suggested that anywhere from 200 to nearly 1,000 Pakistani civilians have been killed by US drone strikes, with as many as 200 children possibly among that total.

The issue of drone strikes, while remaining largely out of US headlines, has become one of the most polarizing in Pakistan. While previous reports have made it clear that Pakistani leaders have authorized at least some drone strikes, they publicly maintain that that unmanned American aerial vehicles constantly buzzing in the skies undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty.

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Bahrain opposition welcomes UN condemnation of Al Khalifa regime

Bahrain opposition welcomes UN condemnation of Al Khalifa regime | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition group, al-Wefaq has welcomed a new statement by UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay on condemning the Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on peaceful protests in the tiny Persian Gulf Arab nation.

“During her recent remarks, Navi Pillay has condemned the Al Khalifa regime’s crackdown on Bahraini civilians and government-sponsored terrorism against them,” Sheikh Ali Salman said on Thursday, referring to her address to the Human Rights Council about human rights violation in Bahrain.

Referring to the public calls for fall of the regime, he said that “I am sure that most of the people in Bahrain want the ouster of the current regime and the establishment of a popular government.”

The Sheikh also underlined the need for holding open referendum in Bahrain to meet the demand of people. ...

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Ban Ki-moon: Use of chemical weapons in Syria not proven by conclusive evidence | The Shia Post

Ban Ki-moon: Use of chemical weapons in Syria not proven by conclusive evidence | The Shia Post | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki0moon said that deploying more weapons will not improve the situation in Syria, and that the use of chemical weapons in it hasn’t been proven by conclusive evidence, stressing the need for a field investigation into this matter.

In a press statement on Friday, Ki-moon said that there can be no discussions of the value of any information on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria in the absence of an evidence database....

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UN urges Thai probe into alleged Rohingya shooting

UN urges Thai probe into alleged Rohingya shooting | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The UN's refugee agency on Friday called for the Thai government to probe reports its sailors shot at Rohingya boat people fleeing sectarian strife in Myanmar.

Citing survivors of the alleged shooting in late February, the UNHCR said at least three shots were fired by Thai sailors as they intercepted a Rohingya boat off Phang Nga, southern Thailand, and towed it further out to sea.

But it was unclear "whether these were warning shots or aimed at the passengers," it said in a statement, adding the boat had been at sea for three weeks and was low on supplies since leaving Myanmar's unrest-hit Rakhine State. ...

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UN rights chief urges Syria war crimes probe

UN rights chief urges Syria war crimes probe | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, has cited the increasing casualty count in Syria as a basis for an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes in the nearly two-year-long conflict.

Speaking after a closed meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Pillay said there was little indication the 15-member body would take action on the 22-month conflict.

"I firmly believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed, are being committed, and should be investigated," Pillay said citing the UN figure of 60,000 deaths in Syria.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Pillay, said the 60,000 death toll was "a conservative figure". The United Nations also estimates that by June, there could be 1.1 million Syrian refugees in the region, double the current figure of 540,000.

"I have urged the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court for investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity on the part of all parties engaged in this conflict," she added....

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Bahrain Deteriorating - By Brian Dooley

Bahrain Deteriorating - By Brian Dooley | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahraini human rights activists who went to Geneva to tell the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) about the kingdom's ongoing government crackdown are again being targeted, this time in the wake of last week's conclusion to Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. In May, several activists were threatened on social media and criticized in government-friendly newspapers because they appeared in Geneva to participate in the UPR. At that time, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, president of the HRC, reminded the Bahraini government that "we are all duty bound to ensure that nobody is persecuted on his return to his country for having participated in meetings of the human rights council or other bodies." Bahrain clearly didn't understand her message. ...

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كلمة مريم الخواجة في مجلس حقوق الانسان 19-9-2012 | Maryam AlKhawaja in the Human Rights Council 09/19/2012

كلمة رئيس مركز البحرين لحقوق الانسان في الجلسة الدورية 21 لحقوق الانسان في جنيف 19-9-2012...
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Bahrain agrees to vast majority of UN rights recommendations, rejects death penalty overhaul

Bahrain agrees to vast majority of UN rights recommendations, rejects death penalty overhaul | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....In Geneva on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told the council: 

...

“Our words, more than our actions, should encourage doubts regarding my government’s commitment to upholding human rights through the rule of law,” he said. “Let us follow the path of propaganda, not  dialogue.” ....

 

 

[Edited to reflect truth and reality......   Why reject the death penalty overhaul?  They deliver the death penalty in the streets without so much as a trial or charges!  Just ask the families of the 100 or so martyrs!]

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UN singles out 16 countries, including Bahrain, for government reprisals against critics

UN singles out 16 countries, including Bahrain, for government reprisals against critics | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
GENEVA — The United Nations has singled out 16 nations for cracking down on critics, saying most of those countries’ governments are going unpunished for their acts of reprisal.
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UN Human Rights Council: Letter on Remotely-Piloted Aircraft or Armed Drones | Human Rights Watch

Y....

While currently only the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel use armed drones in operations against alleged terrorists, with the United States carrying out the vast majority of these attacks, other states and non-state actors may acquire them in the near future. Since 2009, the United States has carried out at least 400 drone strikes, reportedly killing upwards of 2,600 people, according to independent research groups.

Human Rights Watch has serious concerns that some if not many US drone attacks may violate international law. In examinations of six US targeted killing operations by drones since 2011 in Yemen that had killed and wounded civilians, Human Rights Watch found a clear violation of international humanitarian law in one attack and possible violations in the remainder. Research by Human Rights Watch and others on these operations is hampered by the unwillingness of the US to provide information on these attacks or conduct transparent investigations when there are credible allegations of violations of international law.

This resolution has implications that extend beyond the United States, however. The misuse of drones by any nation sets a dangerous precedent for other governments that may seek to unlawfully use these weapons systems against their enemies.....

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Bahrain: Al Wefaq Writes to HCHR, Concern over Condition of Prisoners

Bahrain: Al Wefaq Writes to HCHR, Concern over Condition of Prisoners | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said no information has been released in the past 5 days on the conditions of a number of prisoners in Juw prison, including Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al Mahfoodh, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Action Society.

This is despite news that has been circulating on the mistreatment of the prisoners in the prison and that two of the prisoners are wounded. However, the families of the prisoners have not received any phone calls from the prison.

Al Wefaq has sent an urgent appeal to the Special Procedures Division in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the situation of the prisoners in Juw prison.

The Authority in Bahrain is fully responsible for the safety of the prisoners who are facing vengeful measures by denying them their fundamental human rights, Al Wefaq stated. Shockingly, state institutions and foundations concerned for human rights such as the Ombudsman Office, the National Institution for Human Rights, the General Inspector, Public Prosecution Office and Ministry of Human Rights all remain silent towards this situation.

Al Wefaq also notes the Interior Ministry’s silence, even though it is the body responsible for the administration of prisons, stressing that such practices are illegal and considered a serious violation of the rights of the prisoners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan: Ratify Treaty on Enforced Disappearance | Human Rights Watch

 The Pakistani government should affirm its commitment to end enforced disappearances by ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Human Rights Watch said today. The third annual United Nations International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is on August 30, 2013.

“Ratifying the Convention against Disappearances is a key test for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s new government,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director. “The government would send a clear political message that it’s serious about ending ‘disappearances’. And it would show its commitment to ensuring justice for serious human rights violations.”...

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US lawmakers urge Bahrain to allow UN torture envoy

US lawmakers urge Bahrain to allow UN torture envoy | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Twenty US lawmakers urged the king of Bahrain on Monday to immediately allow the UN envoy on torture to enter the kingdom, after the government postponed his trip at the last minute.

The Gulf state had advised United Nations Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez on April 22, after renewed clashes between security forces and pro-democracy activists, that they were halting his trip, essentially a second cancellation after a previous planned visit was also scrapped.

"As you know, serious accusations have been made in recent years against members of the Bahraini security forces, who are accused of torturing detainees with impunity," the 20 Democrats, including current longest-serving Senator Patrick Leahy, wrote in their letter to King Hamad.

The government's "refusal to allow Juan Mendez to visit the country is also inconsistent with recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, including torture allegations be independently investigated, which your government agreed to implement," they added. ...

Spencer Haskins's insight:

Hamad still has more torturing to do.....can't let the UN envoy in until he is done with his 'sadistic fun...'

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Israel boycotts UN rights council

Israel boycotts UN rights council | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
In an unprecedented step, Israel boycotts its regular review by the UN Human Rights Council, prompting concern that its work could be undermined.
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U.N. rights team to visit Bahrain next week over crackdown

U.N. rights team to visit Bahrain next week over crackdown | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay is sending a team of experts to Bahrain next week to discuss how the Gulf state can improve its rights record amid concerns over Manama's decision to revoke the nationality of 31 people and ban public protests.

Bahrain's government invited the four experts to assess the kingdom's need to improve its track record on the issue, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement late on Friday.

They will focus on the judicial system as well as on accountability for present and past human rights violations and follow up on a preliminary mission that took place last December, it said.

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Message from a Bahraini child to the officials in Geneva

Like & SHARE : http://fb.com/MediaofTruth Message from a Bahraini child to the officials in Geneva in Political Associations gathering - Sunday Sep 16,2012...
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Bahrain: Act on UN Human Rights Commitments

Bahrain: Act on UN Human Rights Commitments | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Bahrain accepted four recommendations calling for an end to the intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders, as well as policies restricting international rights organizations including Human Rights Watch from visiting Bahrain. In its response to the UPR recommendations, the government claimed misleadingly that, “There are no restrictions on the activities of non-government organizations,” and that it “doesn’t prohibit [NGOs’] entry into Bahrain.”

Many Bahraini human rights defenders face routine harassment, arbitrary arrest and threats by government officials. On August 16, Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was sentenced to three years in prison for organizing and participating in peaceful demonstrations without permits in early 2012.

“The Bahraini government’s failure to carry out key recommendations of the BICI report raises concerns it won’t fulfill the UPR recommendations either,” Stork said. “Bahrain should take this opportunity to free people convicted for engaging in free speech and peaceful assembly, hold accountable officials of all ranks responsible for abuses, and give international rights groups access to visit Bahrain without unnecessary restrictions.”

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'US, UK remain silent on Bahrain crimes'-News Analysis-05-19-2012

The United Nations Human Rights Council is to discuss Bahrain's rights record in the upcoming session of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group in...
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